Email is a highly used communications tool by marketers because it gives them an inexpensive channel for sending messages to an audience. Moreover, the audience has usually indicated a willingness to receive messages by opting-in to get emails from a company. The messages can be personalized to deliver the types of information the recipient wants such as info on sales and new products, and decline to receive info that is of no interest. For these reasons, email marketing has been a blessing. But, will it one day become a curse?
The widespread use of email marketing campaigns has led to a swelling of our inboxes. A recent study by Forrester Research found that U.S. retailers and wholesalers will send an estimated 158 billion email messages in 2008. By 2013, that number is expected to reach 258 billion. This alarming growth could lead to more consumer frustration with the volume of messages received (even with companies that they have opted-in to get their emails). Too much frustration may prompt calls for a National Do Not Email registry, similar to the popular Do Not Call registry implemented by the FTC and about 3 dozen states.
If email marketers want to avoid strict government regulations, they must become more adept at sending relevant messages. The goal should be to improve the quality and reduce the quantity of messages. The ability to access customers via their inbox should be viewed as a privelege that should not be abused with too many sales offers.
Link: Internet Retailer – “Marketing Emails Will Grow 63% by 2013 Despite Weary Conumers, Study Says”